Exercising With Your Kids

March 31, 2012 8:36:53 AM PDT
Keeping kids active is important, but it can be tough as parents compete with video games. Chicago is great when it comes to sports events for entire families.

In fact, the Magellan Development Chicago Spring Half Marathon and 10K (link: www.chicagospringhalf.com) takes place on May 12, and the event will also include a "Junior Dash." Two participants and registered dietician and personal trainer at Life Time Fitness Old Orchard, Lauren Floyd, came into our ABC7 studio to tell us about the event and to show us family-friendly exercises parents can do together with their children. Susan Pryz will compete in the 10K and Lizzy Pryz in the Junior Dash.

Lauren's Family-Friendly Exercises and Race Prep

1. Family Yoga Stretching before a race is essential for loosening muscles and avoiding injuries.
a. Tree: Stand up tall and breathe in and out with legs reaching toward the ground.
Focus on one point in front of you.
Lift your right leg by bending your knee.
Place your right foot on the side of your left leg at or above the knee.
Balance in this position for 30 seconds (or more for the older audience).
Alternate by placing your left foot on the side of your right leg at or above the knee.

b. Others: Sunrise/Sunset, Butterfly

2. Stamina/Endurance
Jump rope can bring you back to the good old days while keeping the entire family entertained. This is an activity that can easily involve a number of people and will raise and maintain your heart rate, especially for a big racing event.

a. Jump Rope: Time yourself and count to see who can jump over the rope the most in the allotted time.
Increase the allotted time the race date draws near and test to see if your jump number increases to work on endurance.

b. Others: Jumping jacks, Burpees

3. Strength/Resistance
Core exercises can help promote posture on and off of the racing course.
Muscle strength in your abdomen will help support the skeleton and prevent injury and sore muscles.

a. Spine strengthening: Get on all fours with your knees under your hips and head, neck and back aligned.
Tighten abdominal muscles to straighten your back without any arching or sagging.
Press your spine up toward the ceiling and let your head fall to your chest.
Hold for 10-15 seconds (or more for the older audience).
Straighten your back once more.
Push your stomach towards the floor arching your back and letting the shoulder blades pull toward each other.
Hold for 10-15 seconds (or more for the older audience).
Simple version: lie on your stomach and lift your legs and arms at the same time.

b. Others: Wall sits, Flat back sit-ups/crunches

Magellan Development Chicago Spring Half Marathon, 10K and Junior Dash
May 12, 2012
Park at Lakeshore East
Downtown Chicago

7 a.m.: Half Marathon Race Starts
7:30 a.m.: 10K Race Starts
9 a.m.: Junior Dash Starts For Ages 2-12

Available Online at www.chicagospringhalf.com
Half Marathon Registration: $60
10K Registration: $45
Junior Dash Registration: $15 ($20 day of race)